A View of Emily’s Life
In the story “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner, the reader can see the decaying life of being lonely from the point of the view of the community of Jefferson. By reading the story in the point of view of the community the reader vividly see the change in Emily’s life that the reader would not have seen from her perspective. From the point of view of the community the reader sees the decline of Emily’s life after her father passes away. Readers see along with the community of the decaying condition of the house and how they feel about it. The reader is also able to understand how the community begins to feel that death seemed best for her. By being on the community side of the story, Faulkner is able to show that the community is trying to reach her, but unable to reach her. Watching Emily’s life from a perspective a group allows the reader to see her decaying life due to her solitude.
Faulkner takes the perspective of the community to show the readers that her life started to go downhill after her father’s death. After her father’s death, she began to deny her father’s death for three days. When people came to give her condolences, Emily denied the fact that he was dead. After she broke down and they were able to get the body, people did not label her as “crazy.” The community shared the information about the past of “all the young men her father had driven away,” (28) and noticed how desperate she was. The speaker also writes about how the family was once held themselves very high compared to the state that Emily is in after her father’s death. The reader easily can see her as a crazy person without any background information; with the point of view of the people in the town the readers can feel bad for her and see her change from her life before.
Using the community’s point of view the reader understands that the house is breaking down during her lonely years in the empty house. The condition of the house be came a problem to the town when it started to smell bad. The Inside the house is dark and dim and had the stench of dust and disuse. By using the community’s view point, Faulkner is able to show that the house and her life was in such a pitiful state that a community must come together in order to fix the problem. The community shows the level of the condition of the house based on their actions and thoughts.
By viewing the same perspective as the community the reader will see how the community expects and allows her to take her own life; they even begin to think that she is better off dead. After she easily bought arsenic from the drug store “[they] all said ‘she will kill herself’; and [they] said it would be the best thing” (30). Emily’s lonely life became pitiful enough for the whole town to agree that death would be better for her. For her it was very easy to buy arsenic because the druggist wanted her to have the poison. The druggist made the “reason” why she wanted arsenic after she requests for the best poison he had. Everyone assumed that Emily was going to kill herself, however people felt it is best for her. By knowing how everyone agrees that ending her own life is the best choice, the reader can see the condition of her life.
Emily’s loneliness is more evident by the community when they try to reach out for her. They try to break her solitude by reaching to her after her father dies. A few of the women in the community “had the temerity to call, but were not received…” (27). People felt sad for her when her father died or when Homer Barron disappeared. People began to pity her by repeatedly saying “poor Emily,” when she lost everything. When Emily started to live her life in solitude, her life looked very depressing from the view of the townspeople.
Faulkner gives the reader the message that living in solitude is a very sad and depressing life. Through the eyes of the community the reader can see the decay of her life when her solitude started. After her father died, she no longer had the high spot in society that she once had and now could be pitied. When her life was left in solitude away from the community, the condition of her house became a problem. Her lonely life looks sad enough for people to unanimously agree that death would be best for her. Even with the community’s effort to save her from the solitude, she stayed in the house in lived a very pitiful life. By using the view point of the townspeople, readers are able to see how her life decayed from her prime.